Nicola Joy Fisher
I first heard those words at a party in February 1987.
A pretty blonde, who I had already had my eye on, came up to me.
“So, you’re Jimi Bostock” she said.
I introduced myself … desperately seeking to appear sophisticated … “James Dundee Bostock … actually.”
Her instant reply … “Nicola Joy Fisher … actually.”
We were together from that moment on.
We parted nine years later.
We part again today.
The Internet calls it the “loss upon loss” – the grief of the ex.
So, let me start there in my attempt to pay tribute to Nikki.
How often do we see this … the ex … delivering a eulogy for the ex.
But that says everything about Nikki.
Perhaps one small story will help explain.
It was not much more than a month after we separated. Acrimony was in the air.
The girls were at school. There was a knock on the door. It was Nikki, shopping bags in hand. Can she cook dinner?
And she did – singing as she went – we picked the girls up from school, we ate, put the girls to bed, and sat up late, drinking wine, holding hands … saying sorry.
You see, Nikki was a great soul and she knew one thing – she needed to help me across to the other side.
And we did make it to the other side.
After the usual and entirely normal years of drama and mutual stupidity, we grew close.
We talked often. We broke bread. We pieced together our girl’s lives from what little information we had.
We laughed a lot.
And she has given me great gifts … four of them … Freyja and Morgyn … Griffyn and Rowley.
Of course, Freyja and Morgyn are obvious.
But Griffyn and Rowley, perhaps not so.
And there again is a clue.
Nikki shared the boys with me. I have felt privileged. I dare say not many would do such a generous thing.
And now they are five … Miyuki … the apple of my eye.
I will tell Miyuki stories of her grandma. I shall make sure she knows that she comes from champion stock.
Because Nikki was a champion.
Against all odds.
Her legs held strong as gale force winds buffeted her. She carried great weights on her shoulders. She saw deep darkness.
But she, often enough, still laughed.
Despite all the great support she received from those who love her … last week, Nikki’s legs gave out.
I’ve climbed into the sky since then to tell her the only thing I want her to know … and the only thing I want you to know.
She was way more a champion than she knew.
And that …
…. that is the great tragedy that brings us here today.